"Come to hear the Jazz Masters" Preservation Hall Tip by TravellerMel
Preservation Hall, New Orleans: 7 reviews and 10 photos
Admission to Preservation Hall is first come-first seated. No advance tickets, no reserved seating. There are six wooden benches, and a series of pillows on the floor. If you are not one of the lucky first through the door, you are sitting on the floor, leaning against a wall, or standing for the entire time. The building is about 150 years old - there is no air conditioning. Giant fans do their best to swirl around the hot, sticky July air. The room is dark, the walls decorated with dark paintings of musicians and New Orleans - there is a sign behind the bandstand that reads "Requests: Traditional - $2; All Others - $5; Saints - $10".
Sometime after 8pm (New Orleans time, if you will), six men of slightly advanced age take the stage. From the very first song, you know that you are in the presence of genuine Jazz masters. From "What a Wonderful World", to "Tiger Rag", to "St. James Infirmary" - each piece was a hit with audience, which was comprised of young and old, resident and tourist, black and white. The crowd this night was appreciative and enthusiastic - several requests were made, and the band got standing ovations after each set. There are three sets per night, each about 45 minutes, with a 15 minute break in-between. It was so much fun- we "chair danced", and moved, and shimmied, and clapped, and had a wonderful time! At the end of the night, as the bandleader himself stated, "Now you can say you've been to New Orleans". It's taken me 13 years, but I can finally make that statement myself.
If you go: Admission $10, line starts around 7:15 pm, doors open at 7:45 pm, show starts at 8:00 pm (all times are "ish"). Bathrooms are next door at Pat O'Brien's. Bottled water and souvenirs for sale in the carriageway.
Address: 726 St. Peter Street
Directions: St. Peter Street - left of the Cathedral - next door to Pat O'Brien's - one block off Bourbon
Phone: 504/ 522-2841
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